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Drunk Flight Attendant Causes Flight Cancellation

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A female flight attendant for Pinnacle Airlines (Delta Connection) was so drunk on a flight over the weekend that she was taken off the plane.

Mary Jean Bongers, a 51-year-old from Coon Rapids, Minnesota, was removed from a flight from Grand Forks to Minneapolis, according to the Associated Press.

The flight, Delta Connection 3743, was scheduled to depart at 1 p.m. on Sunday, but Bongers was reportedly so drunk that she repeatedly failed to correctly recite the alphabet and spell her own name, police told the Star Tribune.

Bongers had a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit for driving in North Dakota and maintained that she was not drunk.

A nurse practitioner first alerted pilots that Bongers seemed intoxicated. Police officers came to the plane and met with Bongers -- one reported smelling a "moderate odor" on her breath. Bongers, meanwhile, left two letters out of her last name when asked to identify herself and sang parts of the alphabet while swaying. TwinCities.com reports that a sweep of the plane revealed three empty plane-size bottle of Skyy Vodka.

The flight attendant was "relieved of duty [without pay] pending further investigation", the Star Tribune reports. As a result, the understaffed flight was cancelled and its 30 passengers were put on later flights.

Both the airline and the FAA are investigating, MyFoxTwinCities.com reports.

Last year, a United Express pilot convicted of flying while drunk was sentenced to serve six months in prison. In March 2011, Mexican authorities suspended the licenses of two pilots, two co-pilots and a flight attendant from Aeromexico for being under the influence of alcohol while flying.

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